Fortress Besieged Thesis Proposal Sample


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The famous novel, Fortress Besieged, penned by the author, Qian Zhongshu can be deemed to be one of the most significant literary works in the history of Chinese literature. I propose to study the intricacies of interpersonal ties and the philosophy of the journey of life as shown in this novel for my essay. The novel portrays the life of the male protagonist named, Fang Hung-chien, whose interpersonal relationships with females can be taken to be the archetypal representation of the equation between men and women with all the emotions of love and attraction. The novel documents the struggles of the protagonist in terms of relationship with the opposite sex. Thus, one finds him struggling with his life by the end of the narrative of this novel as he is left by his wife. It needs to be noted that the novel delves very deep into the emotions and struggles of the protagonist as an individual to show the journey of life as it comes to encompass one’s feelings and final outcome in the course of time.

For the purpose of the proposed essay, I would take into consideration the intricate details that are portrayed in the course of the narrative of this novel. I plan to develop the outline of the essay in the process that would be discussed hereafter in this proposal. The experiences of the life of the male protagonist would be delved deep into so that they can be cited in the course of the writing as valid evidence in favor of the central argument of the paper. Apart from this, the aim would be to incorporate evidence in support of the argument taken from secondary sources that would be able to substantiate the explications of the incidents or occurrences cited in the writing. Thus, the paper would explore the time when the protagonist was on his way back to his homeland and also delve into the details of the narrative portraying his parents’ and former in-laws’ approach toward him in matters of starting a family. There can be no doubt about the fact that the characters and scenarios that are portrayed in this novel echo the societal parameters and norms that used to dominate the psyche and practices of the Chinese people during the 1930s.

The aim of the paper would be to corroborate the evidences with the exploration of the influences of the society on the life of the individual. Thus, the social constructs of parameters of interpersonal relationships would also be focused on while writing this paper. The central argument of the paper would get substantiated as the male protagonist would be shown to be a representative character that stands for the typical male of the Chinese society of the time in context. Moreover, the social institution of marriage would also be analyzed with all its omnipotent influence on the life of the individual through the critique of the narrative and the respective characters portrayed by the stalwart author of the contextual novel.

Thus, the conclusion would sum up the main theme and important details of the paper making it clear that the central argument of the essay has been proved in the course of the discussion. The male protagonist of Qian Zhongshu’s novel would be shown to be the representative of individual struggle in the face of tensions of interpersonal relationships and challenges of life. The influence of the society and traditions in the cultural milieu of human existence would also be explored in the paper proposed.

    Works Cited

  • “'Fortress Besieged' Qian Zhongshu.” The Lectern., 31 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 June 2016.
  • Gordon, Peter. “Fortress Besieged by Qian Zhongshu.” Asian Review., 30 April 2005. Web. 11 June 2016.
  • O’Kane, Brendan. “A Monument to What Might Have Been: Qian Zhongshu's "Fortress Besieged".” LARB., 13 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 June 2016.
  • Zhongshu, Qian. Fortress Besieged. London: Penguin, 2005. Print.
5 September, 2023

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